Winner’s view – an interview with AKQA’s James Hilton

We speak to James Hilton, chief creative officer at chart-topper AKQA, about his consultancy’s approach to creativity.

James Hilton


How do you nurture creativity in your business?

AKQA is a platform for people to create the best work of their lives, as such our business exists to serve creativity, not the other way around. This isn’t semantics, this is a principal at the heart of our organisation.

How do you balance creative excellence with commercial concerns?

Creative excellence is about delivering visions, big or small, on time and on budget. We exist to solve our clients’ business problems. In order to do this we must respect their business and our own, within this framework creative excellence can thrive.

Has the acquisition by WPP affected or enhanced your ability to deliver creativity?
Our partnership with WPP has brought nothing but benefit, inspiration and encouragement. We are learning a huge amount from them, which only serves to create even better work.
How can clients get the best out of their creative agencies?
Clients: By being unambiguous and open. Agencies: By ridding themselves of arrogance and entitlement.
Which AKQA project from the past year are you most proud of and why?
Seeing this astonishing team of people use AKQA as a platform to combine their skills and strive for excellence project after project. Nothing makes me prouder.

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